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Should You Buy Gift Cards on eBay?


Buying Gift Cards on eBayGift cards make gift giving easy. Buying them is quick and convenient, and you can rest assured that recipients will end up getting exactly what they want since they get to pick their gifts out. The only thing that would make buying gift cards better is being able to get them at a discount. And now, you can.

The popular auction site eBay is well known for offering great deals on a variety of goods, including electronics, books, movies, clothing, and even automobiles. What many consumers may not realize, however, is that they can also get great deals and discounts on gift cards when shopping on eBay.

Buying gift cards on eBay has its pros and cons. The discount is an obvious advantage, but you also have to take steps to avoid getting scammed or ripped off.

Advantages of Buying Gift Cards on eBay

The major advantage of buying gift cards on eBay is saving money. Another major advantage of buying a gift card on eBay is that it’s quick and easy. Instead of getting into your car and driving to the store to buy the card, you can have the gift card delivered to your doorstep in just a few clicks. Sellers on eBay routinely sell or auction off their unwanted gift cards at a discounted price for the following reasons:

  • They won’t use them. One of the main reasons that many users sell their gift cards on eBay is that they simply don’t want them and will never use them. For instance, it may be a gift card for a store that they dislike, don’t need to go too, or is too far away. To them, it makes more sense to sell the card for cash instead of throwing it away or tossing it in their junk drawer.
  • They need the cash instead. Some people who sell gift cards on eBay simply need or would prefer the cold hard cash instead. In some cases, these sellers may be in the middle of a financial crisis, and their department store gift card can’t be used to pay their bills.

Disadvantages of Buying Gift Cards on eBay

Buying gift cards from auction sites like eBay also has a few disadvantages. For instance, when you buy a gift card online, you do not have the card in your hand instantly. Instead, you have to wait anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to receive the gift card in the mail.

A major disadvantage of buying gift cards on eBay is that you are more likely to get scammed. Although gift card scams on eBay a far less prevalent than they were a few years ago, it still happens. If you do choose to buy gift cards on eBay, be very cautious about which sellers you buy from. Only buy from sellers with a proven track record and plenty of positive feedback ratings.

How to Protect Yourself

Protecting yourself from a gift card scam on eBay isn’t easy, but there are a few things you can do to decrease the chances of this happening. 

  • First of all, make sure that only the necessary information about the gift card is listed for all to see. This will usually include the value of the card, the stores where the card can be used, the expiration date, and any fees associated with the card. The gift card number, however, should not be listed, as this can make it easier for other users to deplete the balance of the card.
  • Check the seller’s feedback rating carefully. Reputable sellers will have a positive feedback rating of nearly 100%. The history of the feedback should go back at least several months, if not longer. Be sure to investigate any negative feedback and avoid sellers with feedback from buyers claiming that there was a negative balance on their gift card.
  • Only buy from eBay sellers that follow eBay’s rules and abide by the Terms of Service. Sellers that are offering more than one card a week should be avoided because eBay does not allow this. You should also avoid buying gift cards that are worth more than $500 dollars.

Following the above tips is helpful, but it does not guarantee that you will not get scammed when buying gift cards on eBay. If you do happen to run into a scammer on eBay, be sure to contact eBay as soon as possible. Additionally, leave negative feedback once you determine that he really scammed you.

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